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  • Just finished my taxes

    Posted on Mr. Natural Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Just finished my taxes

    This topic contains 38 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    • #319705 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      I know you all would rather avoid political discussions so I will be brief, but I am seething and could really go off here, but I won’t. Thanks to the new tax reforms that were passed by the current administration my return is $400 less than it has been for many years. No status changes in my taxable income and deductions for these many years. We were told the middle class would benefit from the reform. Well guess what?……

      A heads up to all you out there on what to expect from your return.

       

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319783 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      I think it takes a lot of $400 less on returns to begin to make up for tax breaks for the wealthy…

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319788 Reply

      anonymous

      See, I was thinking the other way. Writing to congratulate our man Ruffnsore on moving up out of the middle class. Pop a cork, light a stogie, and celebrate your good fortune! You have arrived, sir.

      • #319814 Reply

        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        And one person’s “middle class” is another’s definition of poor…

        I was reading recently that in some 1-st world countries, minimum wage earners are now taxed at the rate the middle income earners were 10 years ago, as the tax brackets haven’t been adjusted since the GFC hit (tax bracket creep)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #320058 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Kirsty, you have been clearly not paying attention to what all politicians have been telling us since the days of… uh, George Washington? Or maybe Jefferson? Telling us what, you inattentive one might ask? That here, in this USA, everybody is middle class. So: nobody here is rich or poor, and most certainly not (ugh!) working class (although there might be, it has been rumored, some who are underclass). And why is that, you might ask? Because we are all middle-class! (except, perhaps, can’t be sure, for those eccentric “underclass” ones that choose to sleep in cardboard boxes on the streets in winter.) So everything is just peachy. Got it now?

          • #320085 Reply

            anonymous

            Hi, it’s anon#319783 again, 3rd comment this page. I’ll have to bow out after this for my own sanity, but feel pressed to attempt a reply here. Oscar you severely cross the ideas of nobility and wealth. I sincerely hope it is not intentional on your part.

            General Washington was a very rich landholder who well knew his rank in the new world. Many of the noble class, (there’s that “many” again, a non-encompassing large portion) were not wealthy on the balance sheet. They had to marry rich “commoners” in or from America to stay out of prison.

            Our founders sought to throw off the concept of noble birth, to create a country where all commoners could work toward the common good and create wealth for themselves and others through the pursuit of happiness. General Washington and his cronies most certainly did not want to abolish the rich, they were the rich. They wanted to avoid losing their already gained wealth across the pond to the very noble class they sought to throw out of this hemisphere. Doing this would make it possible for more commoners to accumulate their own wealth through whatever industrious effort fit their version of happiness. This is an oversimplification, but this is a simple topic swelling beyond Red’s loss of $400.

            If I failed to recognize the humor you intended, I apologize. Either way, I will withdraw from this topic. Best to all here. — #319783

            • #320141 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              That was not a comment on persons named George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. Maybe others were already saying, at that time, that “we are all middle-class here”, but I rather doubt it.

              Irony is such a tricky thing to write properly, so others may see it as such, isn’t it? Apologies for causing an unintended confusion.

    • #319825 Reply

      Bill C.
      AskWoody Plus

      I know you all would rather avoid political discussions so I will be brief, but I am seething and could really go off here, but I won’t. Thanks to the new tax reforms that were passed by the current administration my return is $400 less than it has been for many years. No status changes in my taxable income and deductions for these many years. We were told the middle class would benefit from the reform. Well guess what?……

      A heads up to all you out there on what to expect from your return.

      I can no longer count the years that I have NOT believed a politician. WHen a politician says it is good for you, you should prepare in two ways, hide the wallet and put on iron underpants. How can the “Greatest Deliberative Body in the World”, relate when all are millionaires.

      This link will quickly illustrate the point. Of special interest is to look how the stats are for the ‘party of the people’ and ‘the party of the rich,’ as well as independents.

      https://ballotpedia.org/Net_worth_of_United_States_Senators_and_Representatives#Summary

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #319887 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Bill C writes: ” How can the “Greatest Deliberative Body in the World”, relate when all are millionaires.

        Hey, you might have that wrong: I think you mean “the Finest Deliberative Body in the World that Money Can Buy.”

        Until there is election campaign financing reform, that’s what we are going to keep getting.

        John McCain, along with a few others, kept on trying to get that reform to happen, but died without even getting to see the promised land…

        But I am not ready to despair of democracy ever becoming a full-blown reality in this “Land of the Free”, and look forward hoping that some of the younger politicians now coming into power after the last term elections will start to bring that into reality, one bit at the time. And that ordinary citizens will find the time and the enthusiasm to do their duty pushing them to do theirs and supporting their efforts in bringing the badly needed changes.

        Next after that, breaking monopolies that impose unfair conditions on their customers, centralize the work in the big cities leaving the country towns with scraps. That also prevent independent and innovative local enterprises to flourish there, what with the huge financial power they can use to buy them and take their jobs away to the big cities, or hamstrung them with their myriad “just in case” patents protected by squadrons of attack lawyers…

        And next after that… fill in the blanks.

    • #319889 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Mr Natural wrote: ” Thanks to the new tax reforms that were passed by the current administration my return is $400 less than it has been for many years.

      Well! You are not getting a big refund, because, clearly, you lack the gumption, diligence, sheer go-get-itness and enterprise to earn as much in 2018 as Elon Musk, or Bill Gates. Shame on you!

      No invites to Davos for you!

    • #319947 Reply

      Barry
      AskWoody Plus

      Funny my daughter just did her taxes and her refund doubled from last year.

      Same salary and same deductions.

      Barry

       

      Barry (Seeker)
      Windows 10 Home V 1903

    • #319964 Reply

      anonymous

      A few random thoughts on this comment string:
      …..
      I am ~always~ happy to get a tax cut, and/or a larger refund. It’s my $, not the Govt’s.
      …..
      comment re “takes a lot of $400 refunds to make up for tax breaks for the wealthy” : How did the wealthy get that way? Answer: they had the freedom to come up w/ some way, to earn that $. Their wealth, directly (capital investment) or indirectly (consumer spending) fuels increases in the economy; which results in more $ spread around, incl. for you & me. I don’t begrudge the rich their wealth… Likewise, I resent someone who has less $ than me, begrudging me my own $. (and I don’t have of a lot of it, but by gosh, I’ve earned it myself, by working hard.)
      …..
      As far as “bracket creep”, that is, lower-income people getting taxed more over a period of time: Yup, that’s what govt’s do; it always takes more, and more, and more: That’s a reason why tax cuts are always viewed as popular. And news stories about gov’ts, both Repub. & Dem., wasting $, are numerous and perennial.
      …..
      As far as wanting election campaign “reform”: We’ve had it, and will continue to; John McCain during his life did indeed get what was thought, at the time, to be significant campaign $ reform; called the 2002 “McCain-Feingold bill”. Problem was, and is: It didn’t work as intended. The problem: When you restrict someone making political contributions — no matter who, nor how much — you are restricting their free speech.
      …..
      Summary: All this again shows the wisdom of a tech board in generally limiting discussions to tech-related subjects, about which commenters are presumably knowledgeable. –dpacific

      • #319974 Reply

        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        I am ~always~ happy to get a tax cut, and/or a larger refund. It’s my $, not the Govt’s.

        This opens a whole new can of worms, like the rights to the services and infrastructure provided by the govt’s use of the taxation paid by its citizens…

        It’s also a very old discussion – this is from 1852:

        Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force.

        • #320113 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Of course it’s not the Government’s dollar! The Government should use its own dollars and not my dollars to pay for its own Armed Forces, its own Centers for Disease Control, extend and fix its own Interstate freeways and build and fix its own bridges, keep its own commercial maritime harbors open… ! But, but, oh…, wait!

    • #319987 Reply

      Geo
      AskWoody Plus

      It all depends which states you live in. With states that have high property taxes like NY , California and NJ your limited to how much of your property tax you can deduct under the new tax format.  You have two choices,  petition or become an activist in those states to lower their property taxes or do what most citizens from those states are doing; moving to Texas and Florida.  One thing, if you do the second choice don’t bring those ways along with you that allowed them to tax you in the first place.  The rest of the country shouldn’t be subsidizing  other states high taxes.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #320024 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      comment re “takes a lot of $400 refunds to make up for tax breaks for the wealthy” : How did the wealthy get that way? Answer: they had the freedom to come up w/ some way, to earn that $. Their wealth, directly (capital investment) or indirectly (consumer spending) fuels increases in the economy; which results in more $ spread around, incl. for you & me. I don’t begrudge the rich their wealth… Likewise, I resent someone who has less $ than me, begrudging me my own $. (and I don’t have of a lot of it, but by gosh, I’ve earned it myself, by working hard.)

      Would it be that simple…

      If you look at the history of many financially successful people, they have taken/manipulated/stolen the resources of others rather than actually worked hard and produced value for others. They hire lawyers who win by buying the legal system, rather than relying on actual just decisions of a jury or court.

      Just in the US, the treaties with indigenous people were violated over and over… by the US, depriving people of their just, negotiated, and legal rights to sovereignty, resources, culture, food, housing and health care. Those resources made other people wealthy… while (successfully in too many cases) plunging others into starvation, disease, and marginalizing their language and culture (if not actually beating it out of the stolen children- ie- boarding schools). By treaty, the Sacred Black Hills belong to the indigenous people… by law, its been upheld… but since the treaties were broken, the law only allows some financial re-compensation… not actually anything close to being able to return what is sacred and right, to the people.

      In the US, the Cherokee treaties were upheld by the Supreme Court… but the US president rounded them up and marched them off to ‘Indian Lands’ anyways. Research the Trail of Tears. Most of those under 5 and over 50 died, and their ‘wealth’ was stolen away.

      You can say that happened a long time ago, but it is only in my lifetime that indigenous people have had the right to practice their own religions… and that continues to be battled daily, across this country, because too many think that Indians went extinct a long time ago, rather than engaged in defending their treaties and rights and way of life on a daily basis, across the US.

      That doesn’t even begin to address the global exploitation of indigenous people… follow the money, and you’ll find people made homeless for corporate gain, non-living wages, and systematic use of government and legal systems to extract more, rather than protect the rights and personal wealth of the indigenous… and that wasn’t just in the colonial past, but right now, today…

      How many people did Donald Trump leave bankrupt because he sucked up their resources into his schemes, seeing he came out ahead, while their lives were left tattered? And now… now… he convinced more people on a larger scale… to benefit him and his friends… not me, not you… not us.

      I respect hard work that doesn’t seek to exploit others for one’s own gain. I respect people who work to better their lives and their communities.

      Too few of the wealthy provide anything equal to what their family or culture ripped off in the first place, to make right, to seek forgiveness, to find balance… instead they denigrate those they’ve victimized and rationalized that its okay, because they were lazy, no good sorts (actually not really human and in need of being stripped of what they controlled)… or justified how hard they’ve worked to accumulate what they have…

      How many here were alive when blacks had separate but unequal facilities… when bounties were given out for capturing Indian children and placing them in boarding schools to strip them of their culture and language and even parental care… when successful nation’s Bingo parlors are seen as still under the control of an oppressor, to be regulated or taxed for the oppressor’s advantage and in violation of treaty? Hey- if you posted here today, its still happening today. There is no equal opportunity, even if it is a little easier for people of color to get real schooling (not industrial education to prepare them for slave wages) and jobs.

      It took too much from too many people- their lives, their families, their children and grand children, their land, their resources, their culture, religion, their identity- to be told that the wealthy have earned the right to continue exploitation of others while getting more tax relief for themselves.

      Actually glad, on occasion, that a tech site take a moment to reflect on how not to continue to exploit others (Microsoft) and how to use the resources and knowledge we do have to support individual choice and freedom… and how tech might actually be useful in bringing the previously disadvantaged onto a more equal playing field… where real ability to provide value to the community is what is rewarded, rather than the ability to out lawyer and cover up transgressions.

      By the way… the reports that the indigenous people have ‘vanished’ are wrong. There are nations that are focusing on the education of their children, protecting the resources they have left, investing for themselves rather than being managed by unscrupulous government folks, and participating in their culture and language, and some are even buying back the land they were cheated out of, piece by piece… and those of us whose grandparents were stolen, and fostered or schooled away from our people, forever lost to our land and culture… well, we find satisfaction in continuing to advocate for people who are being exploited, anywhere. Our history is still our history, even if most people don’t know it.

      So don’t try and tell me that people are wealthy because they ‘earned’ it! Those folks are few and far between.

      End of rant..

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      • #320051 Reply

        anonymous

        Hi Elly, I am anonymous#post-319788, the small joke from further up, not any other so far on this page. Please know that I mostly agree with the specific examples you thoughtfully provide. But you also demonstrate the danger of “many”. Many does not mean “most” which suggests a ratio larger than half, or a majority of subjects under discussion.

        Please do not burn the remaining tatters of the American Dream by implying that the largest part of the rich made it by selling their souls in unethical practices. I do a disservice by not finding the facts, but think of the washerwoman who scrimped a lifetime, having no one to pass her small wealth onto she gave it instead as trust to the college (now university) that she spent her life within, cleaning up after the students she had grown to love as if they may have been her own progeny.

        Please do not let the fact that I have only described one story to mean that is the only good person left in America. The stories truly are legion. But they are quiet stories that rarely develop interest. The general public does not like to read stories of people who did what they could have done, but failed.

        Also please do not read this to suggest I believe, that every person who does not become rich is a failure. History also tells of truly great individuals that arrived at the end of their lives penniless or in debt. Of the nearly eight billion stories currently living out their own struggles there is that many different versions of good and bad. But pursuing the dream is still the best path among the difficult paths available.

        Best of luck, and encouraging wishes to all who struggle through this world, every one of the eight billion who have no idea that I’ve submitted this post.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #320099 Reply

          Elly
          AskWoody MVP

          Don’t think that your sense of humor isn’t appreciated… laughter is healing… and I need some after going off on a rant… just so many have lost their own personal history, let alone know the history of countries told by other than the conquerors. I believe in dreams… they give us direction, and inspiration… I believe in the American Dream… that we need to walk our talk. I just find it funny that people are being personally disappointed and noticing it at such a small figure as $400, rather than all the other ways the political system has been used to harvest resources from others, that are much more egregious. What is even more fun is finally having some Native Americans voted into congress, and watching them ‘encourage’ government to live up to its promises, not just for their respective nations, but for all of us. Women, no less…

          Was going to mention (even if I can’t find the statistics right now) that politicians going into office tend to come out with more personal wealth at the end… (more of that $400 gone sideways? or can you tell me what they’ve really done to earn it?).

          Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

          • #320109 Reply

            anonymous

            Thank you for that Elly, and also the many other tasks you do here. I do need to step off this subject, but your closing deserves a reply.

            can you tell me what they’ve really done to earn it?

            To make up some numbers, forgive me but I’m skipping the work here, I will make no effort to justify how an elected member who enters service with a net worth of $3 million, can retire from service at several hundred million. But if instead you ask me the pressures of their day to day in reference to their lawful salary, I will unequivocally say they are underpaid. This does not take into account all the various perks they claim for themselves. I’m only referencing the salary assigned to each office by the properly passed and signed laws that dictate that pay rate.

            I say this as someone who has employed others on a small scale. Anyone who has run a shop of just a few workers knows the burden of finding work to keep your people paid. Prosperous owners get the pleasure to hire more people to do the work that comes in. Eventually you get used to the weight of dozens of families relying on your product or service to feed them, house them, send them to school and give their daughter her dream wedding. And I’m only talking about a small business. These elected people represent 100’s of thousands of constituent voters, most of them unhappy. Yeah, I don’t envy them at all.

            Remember, I restricted my comment to their lawful earnings. That and prudent investment, which is the right of all citizens, can give a prosperous portfolio. But your point spoke to that nebulous unknown of how they accrue wealth out of proportion to the explainable. Well, I can’t explain it either.

            –319788, <–got it right that time

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #321377 Reply

        anonymous

        I am the anonymous who posted above reply # 319964, which is the reply which seems to have prompted your lengthy, self-described “rant”, which was 4 to 5 times the length of mine or any other in this chain. (But I realize you are one of the leaders of this website, and ~you~ get to make the rules and decisions.) Following forum rules, I made my post generally about financial matters, while you, or some other Ask Woody editor, censored a couple of important comments I had made. In return, your post included a recital of lots of “social justice” complaints arguing race and poverty. So, since you turned the discussion into your issues, I will make my own points on some things — if you and Woody will permit me.
        …..
        When I spoke of success through working hard, I had greatly in mind my own Dad. In the 8th grade, thus about age 14, he became the “man in the family” when his father died of cancer, leaving behind a wife and a family of 4 to 5 young children, on the plains of the Midwest, in the early 1900’s. He dropped out of school, began working, and ~never~ stopped working for about 50 years. On his death, he left a widow and grown children, all of the kids having gone to college and at least one, myself, who went to grad school and became a “professional”. Rising from his poverty living in a crude childhood home on the prairie, he provided very well for his family, and *created his own success*. He, and people of his generation — going through a great national depression — were some of the people I had in mind in writing my column. I believe he, and many other guys like him, were a success: working hard; each day; building a nation, a business, a family and a community. I suspect the successful ones probably didn’t carry a chip on their shoulder throughout their lives.
        …..
        I used to teach my (very largely minority) government and business students in a junior college that the “only person who can ~ever~ really hold you back, is the person you see in the bathroom mirror every morning.” And I, too, may have been discriminated-against; due perhaps to some combination of race and/or age. But in my life, I have found that when I turn my attention to what ~needs~ to be done, and how to go about getting it done, and getting “ahead”. that’s when I have found things start to “get better” for me. (And on reflection, I don’t know whether the original first commenter was referring to a $400 reduction in his tax bill — my original thought — or instead a $400 reduction in his tax refund; but if he or she spent the time working, which they instead spent in writing the post, they might have made some nice $ instead.)
        …..
        Good luck to you, ma’am, as to what you set your hand, and your future, upon next.

    • #320196 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Thanks to the new tax reforms that were passed by the current administration my return is $400 less than it has been for many years. No status changes in my taxable income and deductions for these many years. We were told the middle class would benefit from the reform.

      One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention in this thread yet is to be careful you’re comparing apples to apples. I’m not sure what you mean by “my return is $400 less” … are you saying your refund is less, or your tax liability is less?

      Tax cuts are (hopefully) intended to reduce your tax liability–IOW, the total amount of tax you have to pay for the entire year.

      Tax refunds aren’t directly related. They depend on how much of your annual tax liability you’ve already paid earlier during the year (e.g., from tax withholding on your paychecks, et al). You square everything up when you file your tax return, and you either owe more if you ended up short or you get a refund if you prepaid too much.

      So if you’re saying your refund was $400 less, that’s meaningless out of context. How much did your tax liability change? If your tax liability went down but your refund didn’t go up, then it’s because you prepaid less throughout the year–essentially, you took the benefit of the tax cut by prepaying less.

      Note I’m not saying that’s what happened to you, or even that your liability did go down. I’m not defending the tax cut and I do believe there are people who are getting no benefit at all from the tax cut.

      All I’m saying is that when people want to carp about how much taxes we’re paying, it helps to use the right frame of reference. The right frame of reference is your total taxes, not your refund or shortage at the end of the year.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #320338 Reply

        anonymous

        OP did give a summary statement for context

        No status changes in my taxable income and deductions for these many years.

        Short of submitting his actual return for inspection, I took that to mean Mr. Natural has filed the same numbers, year over year, long enough to create the gripe he came here to vent. While you are accurate in the details you question, and the hypothetical conditions you create, there are individual cases on the borderlines of the new marginal rates where the politicians appear to lie when they speak of the broader population. That doesn’t help the amount of suck felt by the borderline individual. Few people can be expected to celebrate others saving at their expense.

      • #320377 Reply

        anonymous

        Out of Context you say? Mr. Natural could respond for certain, but usually people would not be seething about gaining four hundred dollars from a tax return. (Perhaps if gaining such monies bumped their tax bracket then yeah that might lead to seething.) So using the word seething as context indicates Mr. Natural lost the four hundred dollars to whatever tax law and/or other circumstances precipitated the change.

    • #320492 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      OP did give a summary statement for context

      No status changes in my taxable income and deductions for these many years.

      I took that to mean Mr. Natural has filed the same numbers, year over year

      That’s not a safe assumption. His claimed deductions may stay the same, but the dollars those deductions represent change each and every year. For instance, the Standard Deduction dramatically increased this year, while the Personal Exemption drastically decreased (to $0). Even if nothing changed in his status, the numbers on his tax return will definitely have changed, whether or not he noticed it.

      The tax cut will also change the amount of withholding from his paychecks. Typically, a cut means less withheld for the same amount of earnings. That will skew the calculation of whether he sees a change in his refund at the end of the year. His liability (Form 1040 line 15) may be less, but his withholding may also have been less, so only knowing whether his refund went up or down proves nothing.

       

      So using the word seething as context indicates Mr. Natural lost the four hundred dollars to whatever tax law and/or other circumstances precipitated the change.

      That’s exactly my point. The evidence does not establish he lost $400.

      Perhaps his refund may have been $400 less, but that does not translate to him having a $400 higher tax liability. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Refund does not equal tax liability.

      If he looks only at his tax refund, he may think he lost $400, but that may or may not be true. He gains or loses if his tax liability goes down or up, not his refund.

      So yes, without knowing whether his tax liability went up or down, his post lacks context.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #320536 Reply

        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        Agreed – and federal tax withholding rates were changed dramatically as part of the recent tax law changes. There were countless articles in the trade publications mentioning this last year, and warning of exactly this outcome.

        Many will see smaller tax refunds than they saw in previous years while having enjoyed slightly larger take-home paychecks during the year. It’s a good thing to loan your income out interest-free only if you can’t force yourself to save in any other way.

        • #320617 Reply

          Mr. Natural
          AskWoody Plus

           Many will see smaller tax refunds than they saw in previous years while having enjoyed slightly larger take-home paychecks during the year.

          I think you nailed it. I now recall us being told we would see more on our paychecks thanks to the tax reform. Only thing is I don’t recall seeing any difference in my pay statements, but I’d need to check that. If it was more it wasn’t much because I didn’t notice.

          Seems to be some sort of trickery. Give them a bigger pay check and take it back at the end of the year.

          Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

          • #320701 Reply

            jabeattyauditor
            AskWoody Lounger

            When you do the math, $400 difference in a refund is only $15.38 per paycheck on a biweekly payroll. Most of us are seeing bigger differences in the cost of health insurance, etc.; it’s pretty easy to miss small differences in federal withholding.

            The idea was that the reduction in withholding rates would mirror the reduction in overall tax rates, and for some folks that’s exactly what happened. Others are facing tax bills instead of refunds, and still others have larger refunds than previously experienced.

            The bottom line is that we all have different tax situations due to the nature of our incomes, our expenses, and our deductions. The withholding rate is fixed for all (and doesn’t account for individual situations), and the advice to re-run the numbers on your exemptions/extra withholding, etc. (the things we can control) obviously didn’t get published as widely as needed.

      • #320868 Reply

        anonymous

        Huh? Where you get that losing 400 dollars would increase tax liability? I did no such apple and orange comparison, the statements are separate.

        If a person does get back 400 more dollars from a tax return, doesn’t that qualify as more taxable income for the year? Hypothetically if they make already made enough during the year to be on the edge of a new tax bracket, could that tax rebate gain push them in to a new bracket?

        • #320935 Reply

          jabeattyauditor
          AskWoody Lounger

          Referring to your two points:

          1.) That’s not what he said.  🙂

          2.) State and local tax refunds may affect your federal taxes for the next year, but only to the extent that you were able to deduct all of state and/or local tax withheld in the current year. Federal tax refunds do not affect your federal tax bracket.

    • #320612 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      This topic would get ugly fairly quickly on most forums so thanks to all for keeping it civil.

      To clarify one comment. As mentioned nothing has changed in at least 5 years with my taxable income, my withholding statement, filing status and have always claimed the standard deduction given since itemizing has never benefited me. Even my income has stayed the same because my employer has decided I am at the top of the pay scale and my involvement at work is becoming less as I approach retirement.

      The only thing that changed were the changes to the tax law by the current administration.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #320750 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Mr Natural, not that I disagree with your sentiments expressed here in any respect, you would know, from what I have written here, that I don’t. But it occurs to me: what if someone at the IRS has made a small mistake, or perhaps you did — not impossible, given the Bizantinely convoluted nature of the US tax code?

        Perhaps you could ask the IRS for a clarification? I have had occasion to do that, a couple of times, by mail once and once by phone, and each time I was given a useful answer very quickly.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #321427 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      (But I realize you are one of the leaders of this website, and ~you~ get to make the rules and decisions.) Following forum rules, I made my post generally about financial matters, while you, or some other Ask Woody editor, censored a couple of important comments I had made.

      I was definitely venting… and, in the right forum for that… but my position here is a much more humble one than what you describe.

      Sometimes I forget and then regret I am labeled as an MVP, because I have definite limitations… I do my best… My apologies, if offended, both to you and Woody (he is the one who makes the rules around here)… and no, I didn’t edit or censor anything in this thread… I not only have chronic pain and foggy brain, but am on post-surgery pain meds… so have been best at not moderating for the time being…

      At the same time, thank you for the reminder that I need to do better.

      For me, there is a definite connection to history, (the need to learn from it) and @MrNatural, with enough stability of income to be able to make a real life test of whether the choices we made in voting reflected the desired outcome. He had some interesting information for us to reflect on.

      It was out of the lessons learned in the Great Depression, and laws enacted, that so many eventually prospered… and rescinding and modifying them… and then trying to not look like the wealthy were being favored, that led to the greater and greater disparity between rich and poor we see today… exactly what I see @Mr.Natural’s $400 standing for. It is worthy of pondering on… for I, too, know the kind of hard working people you came from… and there may not be the same barriers based on race today… but the issues of trusting/testing promises made, whether a man’s word, a treaty between nations, or pages long EULA’s, remain for all of us… and right now a lot of people are doubting if they’re being told the truth, from tax reform, to operating systems being updated to being made better and more secure than ever… I do think there is a an equivalent of that $400 to be found in the direction that Microsoft is taking us today.

      My intention was to discuss… and it did devolve into venting… but never to dominate or control or dictate… hopefully I’ve done better this time… and you certainly shared much more about what influences your point of view… the heart of things that @MrNatural’s $400 can only symbolize

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

    • #323810 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      An article I just stumbled across. It appears I am not the only one complaining.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/millions-of-americans-could-be-stunned-as-their-tax-refunds-shrink/ar-BBTpTS8?li=BBnb7Kz

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

    • #324442 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      New IRS Data Confirms That Americans Are Getting Smaller Tax Refunds Since Trump’s Tax Cut Plan Went Into Effect
      They aren’t happy.

      by Evan Brechtel | February 11, 2019

       
      …Though many individuals saw an increase in take-home pay throughout 2018, their refunds are likely to take a hit—especially if they didn’t adjust their withholdings when the 2018 rates took effect. The new code also got rid of many deductions that were previously standard, like personal exemptions and and moving expenses.

      The average refund amount for 2018 is $1,865, lowered from $2,035 the previous year, while the number of returns received so far has decreased by two million. While some say, the tax bill’s benefits were reflected in an increase of take-home pay, some are incensed at the decrease in refund amounts.

       
      Read the full article here

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #324656 Reply

        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        After talking to others your refund may increase if you are a student, have children or able to itemize your deductions, or wealthy of course. Other than that brace yourself.

        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

    • #324651 Reply

      anonymous

      People view their relationship to money in different ways. I seek to share an opinion, not dictate my way is the only way. Those who taught me how to handle my finances suggested that for any year that I received more than $200 as a refund I should look to recalculate either my earned income withholding, my quarterly payments, or both; as applicable to the situation. Then make this adjustment to the current tax year. This comes from the view that earning interest while I hold the money is more beneficial than loaning the money (to the government) interest free for several months.

      Passage of time, and inflation means that $200 is smaller than it used to be. And simple, short term, interest rates were near zero for a long time. Adjust the values accordingly, but the concept involved still holds. Being an active participant in your own finances yields dividends in many senses of the phrase.

      Granted this is a year where the rules changed, and took some earners by surprise. But the news stories were out there ahead of time. We just get too busy to consider the effect on our wallets. Consider making these adjustments now for next years return season.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #324834 Reply

        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        It would be great if we all could manage finances so efficiently. But a lot of people depend on that refund and can even affect their planned budget. I recall mention of a bigger paycheck, but it’s obvious a heck of a lot of people were not aware of the need to change their taxable  status to adjust for the republican changes to refunds.

        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

        • #324852 Reply

          anonymous

          Which is the reason for the acknowledgement of busy lives. Also the respectful suggestion to take the information now available and apply it to the current year. That way you can submit the return you desire to receive the refund you expect next year. Sorry if my words failed to convey that well-intended meaning.

          1 user thanked author for this post.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Just finished my taxes

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